Asta Balto

Asta Mitkijá Balto is a freelancing Sámi professor emerita, awarded as Honorary Doctorate by WINU (the International Indigenous University in 2018) for her lifelong work for Sami and Indigenous education. Balto is well-known for her research on Sámi traditional knowledge, values and ways of life, with focus on how child-rearing traditions can reveal the essence of being a Sámi. Her commitment is to combine academic knowledge with knowledge rooted in the traditional Sámi society and her books, articles and countless lectures have provided Sámi content in schools, kindergartens and in other educational institutions. Lecturer at Sámi University of Applied Sciences 1994-2015, elected vice rector 1994-1996 and rector 1996-2000, director of the Sámi Education Council 1989-1994, before that researcher at the Nordic Sámi Institute, teacher at Finnmark University College. Membered national and international committees on Sámi and indigenous education and research, participated in /led education reforms in Norway, member of the Research Council of Norway, National Committee for Research Ethics in the Social Sciences, Law and the Humanities, Competence Center for Indigenous Rights in Guovdageaidnu, Norway. Current engagements, Siidaskuvla project (Sápmi ), LearnLab project,Norway and SáMOS project, Sami Parliament. Vice chair of the board of Beaivváš Sámi National Theatre (2016-2020), member of board of Sámi high schools. Balto holds a wide network with other indigenous peoples, among others in Nepal as former member of SIRF, guest professor at the University of Hawai’i’s Native College (2014-2015), as WINHEC accreditor of Native Hawai’ian Aha Punana Leo Language program in 2014. Her book (2014) addresses the importance of decolonizing Sápmi, placing Sámi knowledge at the center of learning on all levels of Sami society, making it relevant in Sámi nation-building and Sámibased leadership.